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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2004 October;59(5):417-26


language: English

A comprehensive review of anti-reflux procedures completed by computer-assisted tele-surgery

Aurora A. R., Talamini M. A.


Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the most common esophageal disorder. Although GERD is an illness primarily treated by medical management, patients refractory to, or those unwilling to endure long-term medical therapy often undergo anti-reflux surgery. Laparoscopic surgery made the surgeon's task technically more challenging. While laparo-scopy provides a good field of vision, all depth perception is lost. Furthermore, the movements of the chopstick-like instruments are counter-intuitive with limited degrees of freedom, diminished tactile feedback, and dis-associated movement. Now that advanced minimally invasive surgeons have acquired the necessary skills to overcome these hurdles, technology has developed a way to make laparoscopic surgery easier. The latest advance in laparoscopic surgery is computer-assisted telesurgery (CATS) which allows the surgeon to be seamlessly submerged into the surgical field while being seated at a distance from the patient. The technological advances afforded by CATS make minimally-invasive surgery easier by adding stereoscopic vision, which provides depth perception, and the endo-wrist, which provides wrist-like dexterity within the abdominal cavity. The advantages of CATS are: the ergonomic positioning of the surgeon thus decreasing fatigue; stereoscopic vision with possibility of 10x magnification; wrist-like manual dexterity with intuitive motion; motion-scaling and tremor elimination all of which enhance precision and accuracy. A small yet growing body of evidence has provided information which suggests that the use of CATS for anti-reflux surgery is equivalent to the current gold standard, unassisted laparoscopy.

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